More and more brands have started producing hybrid robot floor cleaners that both vacuum and mop using a wet pad mounted to the base. Hybrid vac-cum-mopping bots are perfect for homes with a lot of hard flooring but some of them aren’t especially useful if there are also rugs scattered about, but more on that below.
So while something from our guide to the best robot vacs is what we would recommend above all, a decent alternative is one of the current generation of the best robot mops. Some of these are also designed to vacuum hard floors and carpets at the same time while others are designed solely for mopping.
A dedicated robot mop is likely to do a better job of cleaning a hard floor since it’ll be equipped with a larger water tank for increased coverage and, in some instances, a dirty water tank and a built-in vacuum system to suck up excess liquids. We’re also just starting to see robot mops that can detect and avoid rugs, which is a boon for many households.
If you prefer to clean using your own hands you should also peruse our best hard floor cleaner list. Something from the best steam cleaner section may also be suitable, although some wood floors may not be suited to steaming.
The best robot mops we've tested to date
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Without further ado, the best mopping robot for most needs is… the cracking 2-in-1 Roborock S8 Pro Ultra. Why? Simple, aside from its ace vacuuming skills it has a vibrating rear-mounted mopping pad that automatically lifts five millimetres off the ground the moment its ultrasonic sensor detects carpet or rugs. This is a Holy Grail for this writer because my entire open plan downstairs area is strewn with rugs and, for me, rugs – especially ones with tassels – are the absolute number one enemy of most robot vacs and mops. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve had to rescue my otherwise superb iRobot S9 after it had become tangled in a ruffled up rug. Thankfully the S8 has proved to be one of the best rug negotiators I’ve so far tested.
Another great thing about this vac’s mopping action is that the wet pad itself vibrates 3,000 times a minute so instead of just being dragged across the floor, it actually does some scrubbing, too. And once it’s finished mopping, it heads back to base where the mop is given a thoroughly good clean before being gently dried using a warm fan.
On the vac front, this baby sucks big time, with up to a magnificent 6,000P Pascals of raw suction power. Moreover, its two 16cm ribbed rubber rollers are mounted into a multi-plain housing that follows the contour of the floor. Like all the best hybrid and vacuum-only models, the S8 Pro Ultra returns to its dock to automatically empty the contents of its small onboard bin into a large dust bag which won’t need discarding for at least a month, even if you have a hundred hairy pets.
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is the first robot mop this writer has tested that can be completely left alone safe in the knowledge that it will vacuum all the floors – hard and carpet – and mop just the hard floors and not the rugs. And that, dear robofiends, is why it’s number one.
Read our full review of the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra’s stablemate, the equally excellent S7 MaxV Ultra
If you have pets who leave a lot of hair and muddy paw prints on the floor, we would advise considering the new iRobot Roomba Combo J9+ which performs the tasks of vacuuming, self emptying and automatic mopping with consummate ease.
Like most hybrid robot vacs that also mop, the Combo J9+ is fitted with a static, rear-mounted wet mopping pad that drags along the floor while picking up dust and even tackling both wet and dried stains. It also vacuums at the same time.
However, unlike the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra above which features a fully hands-off mop-cleaning docking base with reservoirs for both clean and dirty water, the Roomba Combo J9+’s mop attachment requires manual cleaning by removing it and either rinsing it under a tap or dropping it into the washing machine. However, the good thing here is that its self-emptying dock also has an onboard water reservoir that automatically tops up water in the robot’s smaller tank so you don’t have to.
If you’re in the market for a more sanitary method of autonomous mopping that doesn’t involve scrubbing any mop-cleaning mechanisms, the Combo J9+’s mop-swapping system is the one for you.
Eufy enters the hybrid bot fray with a cracking product that mops hard floors better than the competition. Just be aware that, although it will also vacuum the floor and deposit the detritus into a small 410ml bin, the recharging dock isn’t equipped with a self-emptying mechanism so you will need to empty the robot’s bin yourself – and that’s no fun if you have a lot of hairy pets in the home.
On the plus side, the Eufy Clean X9 Pro’s dock comes with two huge water containers – a 4-litre clean water reservoir and a 3.6-litre dirty water tank. The extra large size of these containers means you won’t need to empty or fill them too often and that’s a major bonus. As is the mopping system which comprises two circular towelling mops that spin at 180rpm while being forced into the floor using the weight of the robot. The mops also automatically raise by 12mm whenever they X9 Pro’s sensor and front-facing camera detect carpet or rugs.
The X9 pro is a sterling operator and the best choice for hard-floor mopping than any other model on this page. Just be mindful that you will need to empty the robot’s small bin manually and on a regular basis, especially if you have pets.
Read our full review of the Eufy X9 Pro
Where the winning Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is ostensibly a robot vacuum with a mop attached, the Braava Jet M6 is an actual mop with front spray jet that can be adjusted for different levels of cleanliness. The Braava Jet M6 is said to use the same mapping software as its vacuuming stablemate, the marvellous iRobot S9 with which it can work in tandem, but I found it wasn’t quite as clever as the S9 in this respect since it took a long time to map my open-plan kitchen and sitting room which is admittedly quite large.
It also refused to cross over a large rug that divides the kitchen from the sitting room which meant it had to create two separate maps which in turn meant having to manually place it in the kitchen. Normally the act of avoiding rugs would be a good thing because you don’t want a robot mop running slipshod over any carpets or rugs. Anyway, I got round the issue by removing the offending rug and letting the Braava Jet continue on its course so my entire downstairs area was covered by just one map. The moral here is that you will likely need to pick up any connecting rugs so the robot can get on with performing the full task you paid for it to do.
The Braava Jet M6 comes with a 440ml water tank so it has plenty of ammo for even the largest of rooms. Like most robot mops, this one uses an interchangeable pad system – it ships with two reusable wet pads, a disposable wet mop pad and a disposable dry pad for general swiffing – and it works remarkably well. For wooden floors I would suggest lowering the spray power in the iRobot app so that it doesn’t leave too much moisture in its wake. But for all other types of hard floor it’s safe to opt for the deep-clean option which really does do a thorough job of cleaning up muddy paw prints and other recent stains. iRobot also supplies a small bottle of Braava detergent for extra cleaning power.
One especially cool thing about this mopping bot is that it can be synced with both the iRobot S9 and the iRobot J7 robot vacs to start mopping as soon as the vacuuming has been completed. Clever stuff.
Granted, the Braava Jet M6 isn’t cheap but if you’re flush enough, have a lot of hard flooring plus muddy kids and filthy pets, the iRobot Braava Jet M6 is well worth the investment.
• Read our iRobot Braava Jet M6 review for the full lowdown
Roidmi isn’t a familiar brand over here in Blighty but it’s hugely popular in China. Like the winning Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, the Roidmi Eve Plus is a vacuum and mop in one with an automatic bin emptying system that is one of the best we’ve seen because it features a touch sensitive LED display that lets the user know when the large 3-litre dust bag is full. The robot itself is also equipped with two side brushes which do a grand job of flinging debris into the path of its ribbed rubber roller.
But I digress because you’ve come here to look at robot mops. Well the Eve does that very well indeed. Like the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, Braava Jet M6 and quite a few others knocking about the market, the Roidmi Eve uses a simple mop on its rear that removes most marks and stains like recently spilt liquids and muddy shoe prints while the front end does the vacuuming. You can also adjust the amount of water dispensed from its ample 250ml water tank using the excellent Roidmi app.
This 2-in-1 vac-mop has an expert mapping system that uses LiDAR to fully map all rooms really accurately. In fact you can actually watch it map the room in realtime on the app. LiDAR is one of the best systems for room mapping but it invariably won’t allow the robot to venture under sofas or beds if there’s a valance or bedspread dropped over the edge. To get around this, lift the valance so it can fully clean under beds and sofas.
Granted, the Eve did snag itself on at least two rugs during its test run but that is often the norm with robo vacs, especially if the rugs have tassels. Solution? Lift all the rugs off the floor.
If you’re in the market for a very effective robot vac that mops as well as automatically emptying the contents of its bin, I urge you to put this one on the list.
The Ultenic T10 Robot Vacuum dazzles with its glistening white finish, but underneath it's more than ready for most home vacuuming and mopping chores. Most notably, this one also boasts a self-emptying bin which means it can automatically return to the docking station and, while getting recharged, dump all of its accumulated trash.
What this does is turn the Ultenic T10 Robot Vacuum into a real bruiser in terms of performance. Indeed, the runtime goes all the way up to 280 minutes, which makes it one of the best there is.
There's a power-packed supporting app too, which comes with all of the options for mapping every room in your house using the bot’s LiDAR laser navigation system. It might take a while to configure properly, but after you've done it once, the Ultenic T10 is more than capable of just getting on with the job.
Mopping mode delivers more appeal and although this is only really designed for lightweight cleaning activities, it is very adept at homing in on grubby footprints and the like for brilliant spot-cleaning duties.
Is a robot mop a viable alternative to a mop and bucket?
That’s a very good question. If you have a lot of hard flooring and especially children and pets, a mopping bot is well worth having since regular mopping of floors is one of the most tedious chores known to man and womankind. Having a robot perform the task on a regular basis will simply save you a lot of time and effort. It will also ensure the floor is always in pristine condition which is handy if you have crawling toddlers about and you’re concerned about hygiene.
What if I have a mix of carpet, rugs and hard flooring?
Many hybrid robot vac-cum-mops won’t know how to avoid carpet or rugs and those that do might still mistake a thin rug for just another section of hard floor. This means it will effectively mop the rug which isn’t what you want. However, at least one manufacturer, Roborock, has addressed this issue with a hybrid model – the S7 – that raises the rear mop whenever it detects rugs or carpet.
The upshot is that if you have rugs scattered about, my advice is to gather them all up so the robot has full access to the room. Yes, it’s a hassle but then not everything in life is a breeze. On the other hand, if you have any of those tricky-to-remove sticky pads underneath the rugs to stop them from slipping, you may have to forgo the majority of mopping bots and opt for either the Roborock S7 or possibly the iRobot Braava Jet M6, since both models will avoid soaking rugs and carpet.
And that brings us nicely to the reason you came here in the first place – to find out which mopping robot is the most suitable machine for you.